About the show

Trauma is an ambitious four-part documentary series on RTÉ2 giving viewers an unprecedented insight into the high pressured, outstanding and skilful work carried out in the intense world of trauma and medical emergency in Ireland. From Emergency Department staff to surgeons, nurses and intensive care specialists - a chain of people who deal with cardiac arrests, head injuries, road traffic accidents and workplace incidents.

A 'traumatic' injury is a serious injury to the body - from either physical violence or an accident - and one which requires crucial immediate medical attention. There are approximately 1,600 'major' traumas (traumas with potential to cause prolonged disability or death) annually in Ireland, and while the optimum service may be an integrated trauma system, currently patients are treated in the hospital best suited to the nature of the injury.

In this series, we focus on four hospitals and the incredible work carried out by the medical staff: cardiac and spinal trauma in The Mater Hospital, neuro-trauma in Beaumont Hospital; emergency care in St. Vincent's Hospital and orthopaedic trauma and emergency in the Adelaide and Meath (Tallaght) Hospital. We also see staff from the National Ambulance Service and the Dublin Fire Brigade as they operate the 999 emergency call centres, the very first port of call in the chain of the teams dealing with these specialised cases.

From the moment the resus phone is answered in the Emergency Department, the medical staff race to prepare for the pending arrival of the trauma patient. The following minutes, hours and days are possibly the most crucial that the trauma patient will have ever faced in their life. If they survive, they may face a very different future than the one they had anticipated.

In each episode we follow the progress of several patients - from admission to hospital - to as close to the end of their medical treatment as possible - following each step of their medical care along the way. We have interviewed staff who talk intimately about working in such an adrenaline fuelled environment. The patients and their families also talk reflectively about their experience.

Trauma tells both the emotive and dramatic story of the patient as well as highlighting the collaborative, high risk and exceptionally skillful work carried out by the medical teams.


Trauma, Episode 1 of 4, RTÉ2, October 12th at 9.30pm

In episode one, 72-year-old David Guest is rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital after a road traffic accident. Eye witnesses say he was slumped over the wheel of his car as it crashed into the front of oncoming traffic. The emergency team soon discover that David has what is known as a triple A ruptured aneurism. Twenty-five minutes after arriving into hospital, David is prepped for an emergency operation as medical staff fight to save his life. The operation he faces is hugely high risk, and the staff go about contacting David's family members.

It is the middle of the night when broadcaster Ronan Collins is brought into Beaumont Hospital in need of immediate attention. Just as he was about to go on stage, Ronan's legs suddenly became completely weak. The neuro trauma team scan his body and discover that he needs emergency surgery.

In Tallaght Hospital, a man has been rushed in after he was stabbed multiple times, leaving him with life threatening injuries. He tells the doctors that he saw blood in his urine, so doctors carry out urgent scans to check for internal damage to his organs.

Meanwhile, in the Mater Hospital, 31-year-old Milan Hosek is being treated in the emergency department after a violent attack in the city centre has left him missing part of his ear, which he brought with him to the hospital in the hope that doctors will be able to re-attach it.

In the Mater 75-year-old Michael Murphy is at risk of potential organ damage after near drowning incident on Dollymount Strand. A daily swimmer at the beach, Michael got swept away in a strong current and was rescued by coast guards. Doctors monitor him and find out that he has inhaled a lot of water and his oxygen levels are dangerously low.

Back at St. Vincent's hospital 31-year-old Gaelic footballer Anne-Marie Murphy is brought in by her fiancé. They were both playing in the semi final of the Dublin Ladies Senior Championship when the game was abandoned after a clash and fall left Anne-Marie unconscious and unable to move her back when she awoke.